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Video Released of Immigrant Children Separated from Parents; Trump Administration Policy of Separating Immigrant Children from Parents Examined; Trump Wants Another $200 Billion in Chinese Tariffs. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired June 19, 2018 - 8:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:00:00] DR. COLLEEN KRAFT, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS PRESIDENT: -- young children who are not quite verbal yet can't express what's going on there, and the person that they need the most is their mother or father, that person that they've known all along who's been able to console and comfort them.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And 2,000 kids who can't be held by a parent or anyone else right now separated from their families, it could all stop with a phone call from the president. Dr. Colleen Kraft, Antar Davidson, thanks so much for being with us, appreciate it.

KRAFT: Thank you.

ANTAR DAVIDSON, FORMER MIGRANT YOUTH SHELTER EMPLOYEE: Thank you for having.

BERMAN: I appreciate it. We've got a lot going on. Let's keep going.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Hopefully people will get the message and not break across the border unlawfully.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are a better country than one that treats frightened children as a means to a political end.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congress is asking us to turn our backs on the law. It's not an answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of us seeing these images of children in tears were horrified.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States will not be a migrant camp, not on my watch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kim Jong-un visiting China as President Trump threatens more tariffs on Chinese goods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people think that's not well thought out on the U.S. side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chinese leaders have been claiming openness and globalization, but it's a joke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota on John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We're about to get into all of those issues. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, June 19th, 8:00 now in the east.

President Trump and his administration are sticking with their practice of separating children from their parents at the border, though the White House is struggling to stick with an explanation for why they've adopted this new policy. The Homeland Security secretary claims they're doing -- not doing it as a deterrent.

BERMAN: It's hard to keep track.

CAMEROTA: It's hard to keep track because the attorney general says it is meant as a deterrent. So which one is it? We also have this heartbreaking new audio that was first recorded by the nonprofit Pro Publica that captures the sounds of the children wailing for their parents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CRYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Heartbreaking.

We also have more breaking news. Serious economic tremors around the world. Global markets down sharply after the president, President Trump, threatened to slap an additional $200 billion in tariffs on China. China has threatened to retaliate. We're about 90 minutes from the opening bell on Wall Street. All signs point to an ugly, very ugly opening. You can see Dow futures down more than 300 points already.

CAMEROTA: We'll be following that minute by minute, but joining us now to cover all of this we have CNN political analyst David Gregory and CNN political director David Chalian. David Gregory, they can't get their stories straight on why they're doing this new policy, and that is telling. The idea that President Trump won't take credit for it, the idea that Kirstjen Nielsen says one thing and Jeff Sessions says another and John Kelly says another, what is that about?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it's just another example of how much dysfunction there is in the Trump administration. You have figures like Nielsen, like Sessions who have crossways with the president and are trying to rehabilitate themselves. They're not coordinating what the policy is. I'm sure they're feeling a lot of heat internally. And we know from what individual members of the administration have said that this is unpopular and divisive even within the administration. But they're playing a bigger game, they're trying to force a deal on

immigration that would be more to their liking, that would satisfy the hardliners in Congress and in the White House to get funding for a border wall. And you have the president at the tip of all of this who sees this as an attempt to drive the energy level within his party in an election year by painting broad strokes, by dehumanizing immigrants, by raising the specter of criminals streaming across the border just to try to achieve something. And he's feeling a lot of hit for it, and when he goes to Congress today we'll see whether he's applauded and fortified in this position or whether he sees some avenue to accommodate a little bit, to ameliorate the problem for at least a time.

BERMAN: Luckily we have someone who knows the answer to that question. David Chalian, how will the president be received when he goes to Congress amid all of this?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: I think the sense is on the Hill initially please explain your thinking on this. I think the Republican members want to understand why this has been so scatter shot in terms of the administration not having a clear and consistent message on this. But I have no doubt that there are going to be some members, as David was saying, that are going to cheer him on and fortify his position, and they're going to be some members who are going to really ask him to back off of this.

[08:05:08] Now, do you want to understand the difference between the groups? The ones that are going to ask him to back off on this, they're the ones who are vulnerable about losing their seats this year. And while David is right that the president clearly feels emboldened to double down on this because it pleases his political base, what is also entirely clear is that he's putting his party in greater peril that it is already in, which a lot of peril, in terms of losing the majority in the House of Representatives this year.

Those competitive seats around the country are largely in suburban areas. You want to understand how Republicans keep their majority, they do that by winning over independent voters who are wildly opposed to this policy. So while it may work for the president's own fortification of his base of support, it is indeed imperiling the Republican House majority.

GREGORY: That's the point is how much extra baggage he's creating. A midterm reelection is so often a referendum on the president and his party, and he is the party. And how much baggage, how unpopular he is. And the bet is that this broad stroke argument about standing up to illegal immigrants, being tough in the face of our allies and on trade. You speak to the issue of trade, that this is the winning argument. People see the toughness, they see standing up for America and keeping the foreigners out, this is the argument that appeals on both an issue area and on the idea of fear, fear of the other that the president has campaigned on since the beginning.

CAMEROTA: It's interesting, David Chalian, when we talk to people who feel unapologetic about this new policy, Steve Cortez we just had on NEW DAY, he said he really likes this new policy. He likes the punitive nature of it. What they feel is, yes, parents should be punished for crossing the border illegally. That in itself is the original sin, and if children are caught in the crossfire, hey, we're not doing it. It's those parents that made the decision.

And I think it's really important to have those voices on NEW DAY so that people can understand why the base might be so activated and turn out at the midterms for President Trump and his candidates, because there's a real feeling of anger of people have been jumping the line and cheating the system.

CHALIAN: And this is part of the law and order argument that Donald Trump has made for the better part of three years that does have a real appeal. There's no doubt about that. What does not have an appeal, and I think it's pretty crystal clear, is separating children from their families. So this is -- the American people actually in large part can separate these two thoughts, the need for following the rules, not breaking the law, that makes sense. But what does not make sense is needing to separate children from their families in doing so.

CAMEROTA: I just -- George Bush is the person who came up with the zero tolerance policy to treat all people crossing the border illegally as criminals, but he didn't separate the family. You can treat them as criminals if that's your starting point, but there's no law that says you have to separate the kids from their parents.

BERMAN: The White House chose this. The White House chose it, and that's what so hard for me to get my arms around here. They keep on trying to serve us this cocktail of misinformation, misdirection, and contradiction, and it's easy to get obsessed with that and infuriated.

CAMEROTA: And intoxicated.

BERMAN: All that, rightfully so, but you have to remember what this discussion is all about. It's about these children. So that's why I just want to play one more time so we can hear so there's no mistaking the impact here, this Pro Publica sound of these kids at one of these detention centers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CRYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: So just know that that's the result when you're having this discussion and debate up on Capitol Hill later today, members of Congress. Just know that that's happening, and yes, our CNN polling shows that this is unpopular with the overall population, even though, what 68 percent of Republicans --

CAMEROTA: It's 58 percent.

BERMAN: And 58 percent of Republicans support it. Is that a big number, David Gregory? Is that a number that will emboldened the president, or when you see that is that a margin he's got to be concerned about? GREGORY: I think it does emboldened the president because I think the

president doesn't have any shame. He can ride this out. He may not even like it, but he's cynical enough to use it as a shocking way to try to get whatever he wants out of an immigration bill.

[08:10:10] And he is working on fertile ground in that both Republicans and Democrats have failed on this issue. I think David is right. People are smart enough to separate out these issues, to be able to look at what has merit and what doesn't, but the failures do keep compounding themselves. The idea of catch and release is of itself a failure. I mention this had earlier this morning.

But the problem, I mentioned this earlier this morning, Jonah Goldberg the commentator has written a really interesting book that I've just started called "Suicide of the West" in which he argues in part that political discourse has moved away from trying to persuade those who disagree with you to just riling up your base. And that's what this is about. This is about fear of the other. It's about saying we have to deter these people without thinking about why do you think someone is willing to imperil themselves and their young children by making a journey that could kill them or result in arrest and detention, because this is all they have. And they want -- they're lured by the United States for the prospect of a better life. That's not going to be solved by this kind of deterrence policy.

CAMEROTA: David Gregory, David Chalian, thank you both very much for all of the analysis.

So President Trump is going to be heading to Capitol Hill today. We have Bob Goodlatte who has been spearheading one of the immigration plans that he says could put an end to this separation policy. So what will they accomplish? Will we see something change on the border today? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:15:00]

CAMEROTA: President Trump heads to Capitol Hill today to meet with House Republicans on two immigration bills that they could vote on this week.

What will they do about the children being separated from their parents at the border?

Joining us now is Republican congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. He's the author of one of those immigration bills that the House will vote on this week.

Congressman, thank you for being here.

REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R), VIRGINIA: It's great to be with you and your viewers and one quick correction. I'm very much involved -- my name is on both of these bills.

CAMEROTA: Thank you. Thank you for that correction. I know that one of them -- let's talk about that first.

How do you feel about this new policy of separating children from their parents at the border?

GOODLATTE: Well, first of all, I understand the dilemma that this administration and previous administrations have had, based upon law and court decisions.

I got complaints from the prior secretary of Homeland Security in the Obama administration about a court decision that said detaining children for longer than a certain period of time was not going to be permitted.

So the alternatives they have are either separate the children, which nobody wants to do, or allow the entire family to leave, go into the interior of the country with a court date, to appear later for the disposition of whether they're allowed to be in the United States and whether they've committed the crime of the misdemeanor crime of entry.

And they don't come back, very often, for those court dates. So we need to change the law. And we will do that in what I call the consensus bill, the new bill that we will be offering, that we hope will get 218 votes, will pass and go to the Senate and then ultimately to the president.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

GOODLATTE: It's important to do that.

CAMEROTA: Do you think that this is serving as a deterrent?

GOODLATTE: I think that the message should go to people in Central America and elsewhere in the world that there are better ways to apply for asylum in the United States than to come across the border illegally, maybe go undetected but, if they're detected, then apply for political asylum.

When you have a backlog of 600,000 cases, that needs to be addressed. They can come to the border crossing stations and apply there.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Understood that, in a perfect world, all of this would be -- wouldn't be messy and it would happen seamlessly but it doesn't seem that that message is getting out.

There are just as many families showing up -- they announced this new zero tolerance policy on April 7th and families with kids are still coming to the border.

So do you think that the deterrent nature of it, that we've heard from the administration, has been effective?

GOODLATTE: I think it's going to have to be effective but it's only going to be effective if it's done in conjunction with the other changes in the law that the administration has asked for, that many of us in the Congress have been advocating for many years, related to abuse of asylum laws, abuse of our unaccompanied minor laws and other things that occur.

So it's not just about securing the border with a wall and technology and more personnel. It's also about closing these loopholes and making sure the law is properly enforced.

I also think we should work with Mexico. I spoke with the Mexican ambassador yesterday. They're very much about getting more help from the U.S. and more -- doing more themselves to stop people from coming across their southern border.

Once you leave your country and you're safe, you're supposed to apply for asylum --

[08:20:00]

GOODLATTE: -- in the country that you have immediately entered, not the United States.

They travel 1,000 miles across Mexico; they take their children, in many instances, with them through very dangerous circumstances. And shame on parents who bring their children across a desert to try to get into the United States illegally. That's not the right thing to do.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: I understand you're not happy with those parents.

Do you think it's OK to punish their toddlers and their infants and their teenagers for them doing that?

GOODLATTE: No, I don't think it's OK to do that. I think the law needs to be changed so that the children can be kept with their parents.

But, bear in mind, if you break the law in the United States and you go to jail, you're not taking your children with you.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Understood but we're doing this before they are adjudicated, we're separating their kids from them --

GOODLATTE: When you get charged with a crime and you're taken off to jail, you do not get to bring your children with you.

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: Look, in the United States the laws are different. Sometimes you stay home until your court date.

But either way, do you think what's happening at the border constitutes -- when you hear the crying audio that we've been playing, that has been leaked from ProPublica, do you think that constitutes child abuse?

GOODLATTE: I do not. I think that the law needs to be changed and I think that every effort needs to be made to take care of children when they're separated from their parents.

But think about this, if your charged with more than the crime of entering the country illegally, if you're bringing drugs with you or you're doing other things that are a felony, you're going to be held by our government and your children are not going to get --

CAMEROTA: Understood. Sure but I'm trying to separate asylum seekers from drug mules. But either way --

GOODLATTE: Asylum seekers can come to the border and turn themselves in. And I think they should be able to go to the U.S. embassy in their home country. They do not need to risk what they're risking now, coming across the border.

And you and other members of the media can help get that message across that they shouldn't subject themselves to this.

CAMEROTA: Oh, let me tell you something, we have been covering this around the clock about what's happening at the border. I mean, if people are tuned in, then they're getting the message. But it doesn't seem to be stopping people from showing up at the border.

GOODLATTE: Well, I hope it changes. But we need to do everything we can to make sure that we have the ability, when parents show up with their children, to let the children stay with the parents. I have no problem with that.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Here comes the legislation that you're proposing. You would end the diversity visa lottery and end what's called chain or family migration, authorize the border wall, construction that the president ran on.

You would add 5,000 border agents and 5,000 Customs and Border Protection officers, three-year renewable legal status for the DACA recipients and you would allow children to be kept with their parents while in DHS custody.

Do you have the votes at this hour for your bill?

GOODLATTE: So the first bill we have been working on for six months, we've made a number of changes to that bill that we would like to offer as an amendment nature substitute.

We're not going to be able to do that because that bill is being put on the floor because some of our members want to say they voted for that bill. The new bill, the consensus bill, does not have all of the things in it that you just mentioned.

But it is a good strong enforcement bill. It has the top 10 things that the administration asked for. It does fund the security at the border --

CAMEROTA: And that has votes, you think, enough votes?

GOODLATTE: We're working very hard and I think there's a great possibility. It also has a good resolution of the issue with regard to the DACA policy.

CAMEROTA: If you can't get the votes, would you vote for a very easy, short-term Ted Cruz-like bill, that just keeps families together?

GOODLATTE: We will have to take a look at that when we get there. But I do not want to miss the opportunity to pass an important bill. The issue du jour is definitely these children separated from their parents.

But it's been an issue of resolving the issue for the DACA recipients for years now. And we should not miss the opportunity to address all of these issues in a good bill. It's not a comprehensive immigration bill. There's plenty more to do with people who are not lawfully present in the United States and plenty more to do with regard to moving toward a merit-based immigration system and plenty more to do with regard to enforcement.

But this is a good bill that addresses all those areas and takes care of these immediate needs.

CAMEROTA: Congressman, we will be watching. There's so much more that we wanted to talk to you about and I'm sorry that we've run out of time because this news of the day is so important and we're watching with bated breath to see what you say to the president and vice versa when he shows up there in two hours.

GOODLATTE: I'll come back. We can talk about the inspector general's report and your viewers can watch. I'm sure you're covering the hearing we're having at 10 o'clock today with inspector general Horowitz about the FBI investigation that we've been conducting.

CAMEROTA: I'm going to hold you to that and we welcome you back to talk about all of that. Thank you so much, Congressman.

GOODLATTE: Thanks.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: It's an important discussion. All right. Major tremors in the markets happening as we speak. New fears of a trade war as the president threatens --

[08:25:00]

BERMAN: -- $200 billion in new tariffs. Stick around.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

BERMAN: We have breaking news. A global stock selloff after President Trump has threatened an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. Beijing is warning it will strike back. This raises fears of a trade war. Look at all that red right there and now all eyes on this.

These are the futures for the U.S. markets. You can see Dow futures down 360 points already, set for a rocky open in about an hour.

Joining me now is CNN political and national security analyst, David Sanger, author of the new book, "The Perfect Weapon."

Also CNN political commentator Catherine Rampell.

Katherine, I want to start with you here. We saw all that red. The markets jittery across the globe this morning from these new threats from President Trump, $200 billion in tariffs, new tariffs. That would be about half of all goods from China coming to the U.S.

What would the impact be?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It would be very bad for consumers. At the point that you are targeting half of products coming from China, you can't just get, you know, parts that companies buy. You're going to get a lot of goods that consumers buy. It's going to raise prices.

We've already seen Trump's tariffs in other areas raise prices for consumers. We've seen it with washing machines. We've seen it with steel and aluminum tariffs, which have raised prices about 50 percent higher than they are in China and the E.U., which means that's going to get passed through to consumers as well.